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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Art Chatz

Vadim Fainberg is a third-year Studio Art major/Neuroscience concentrator. His studio practice has focused on design, printmaking and video. He performs music as part of the band Gluestick and solo under the name Laska. Recordings of his solo material can be heard online at Fainberg will be opening as Laska for Balmorhea in Herrick Chapel this Wednesday at 9 p.m..

Can you begin by describing your performance?

It’s basically me on guitar. My music is atmospheric, there’s not much in terms of melody and counter-melody and bassline going on. It’s more me looping a lot of sounds together until they build up, to make it more enveloping rather than something you just pay attention to the melody of. I guess it’s a mix between ambient and post-rock.

So you develop kind of a soundscape? And there’s a visual component?
Yeah, so a lot of the performance involves actions on a small scale, micro-adjustments. I might be sitting in a chair for half the show, and I want to give the audience something to watch. The video begins with a still from my phone’s camera as it died, everything is in really bright neon colors. It then transitions into footage from “Stalker,” a Russian film from 1979, which I’ve re-edited. I was originally interested in the kind of effect created by the manipulation of video compression data [a technique pioneered by artists such as Takeshi Murata, also used in videos for Chairlift and Kanye West]. What I ended up doing was layering video on top of each other, bleeding them into one another in attempt to replicate that effect.

You’ve already spoken to this a little bit, but how do you see the auditory and the visual components functioning together? Or not? Is there an aesthetic that they have in common?
Definitely. I try to make the video to match up with the music. Most of my music is in a minor key, just because that’s how I’m more comfortable playing. And so the music video ends up being darker. I try to make the two mirror each other as best I can so there’s not a disconnect from what I am playing and what the audience sees in the video.

How do you see the work you’ve done on this video for this performance relating to your broader artistic practice? How do you see the work you’re doing in music in general relating to your artistic practice?

I started doing music way before I started doing art and so they’ve always been separate things for me. But, with this performance in particular, because it’s just me playing without Pooj [Padmaraj ’13] or Clint [Williamson ’13] or any other band members, it’s definitely much closer to my art. The video would, I think, match up well with any of the work I’ve done before. Actually the song I open with came out of another video piece I am planning on doing. So the first song will actually be used as the auditory component for that. So it definitely matches up in terms of aesthetics and what I’m interested in sounding like.

-compiled by Nic Wilson

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